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Prickly

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Protecting mysocalledself 

from all that’s ever bad

perhaps with wisdom’s razor-sharp points 

that innumerable many never had

 

In a world full of violence, destruction, 

dull ignorance and some joy

a coating of fine needles

is unblunted intelligence to employ

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A point here and there.  Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

A point here and there. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

 

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Congrats to many regarding Supreme Court’s ruling on Same Sex Marriage…

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Two_________female

antswish

____ing

to

share________________ the same

flower for

ever

Whoever says that they should not

is out of the blossoming

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[Added note:  My sister-in-law is married to another woman; both she and her spouse are very sweet, caring, and kind; they are far better parents than mine ever were.]

Someone's aunts on Stella D'oro. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Someone’s aunts on Stella D’oro. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

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The Confederate Flag needs to go… (Multi-Photo)

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My heart goes out to those in Charleston, South Carolina who lost their lives or loved ones.  The Confederate flag needs to go.  To many, it (justifiably) represents repression and hatred.  Personally, one doesn’t care to wave flags of any type.  If you are a global citizen (i.e., a true citizen of the world), then separative flags have very little meaning.  Flags tend to reinforce the feeling of separation and indifference regarding “those at a distance.”  Many think that their country or area is superior to “that” country or “other” place… or is superior to “those other people.”  During war, so many feel that “God” is on their side… as if God takes sides in violent, separative confrontations!  A truly perceptive mind realizes a profound truth that places it in a common bond (united) with all living creatures.  Separative flags (of any kind), which promote boundaries and divisiveness (and they pretty much all do), have little significance to a mind that is truly in such a bond beyond demarcations. 

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/the_confederate_flag_needs_to_go_loc/?bqntMib&v=60732

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[This baby snapping turtle was in the backyard, running about.  The adults lay their eggs in the ground; when the babies finally hatch, they need to quickly get to water (or else they get eaten by raccoons, coyotes, foxes, or crows and such).  After taking a few photos, I carefully tossed this little guy into the river that we live on.]

Baby Snapping Turtle (1). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Baby Snapping Turtle (1). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Baby Snapping Turtle (2). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Baby Snapping Turtle (2). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

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The beauty of the unknown exists beyond the confines of that nest… (Multi-Photo)

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When we are young, we are like fledglings, depending on the those who are more mature to help us to do well and survive.  However, at some point, we (if we are to really soar in life) have to leave the nest.  As human beings, many of us never actually leave the nest; we continue to depend.  We cling to the ideologies, patterns, religions, politics, traditions, and habits imprinted upon us by others; and so we never really independently soar.  Most of us “feel safe,” nested in their ways and traditions.  For human beings, however, true enlightenment is never merely within the circumscribed confines of a limited, little nest (or prepared space).  Most of us are afraid to take the plunge, to let go of all the habits and traditions that we have been nesting in.  Most merely cling to symbols, words, representations, ideologies, and learned concepts of (and including) a central “I”… and never ascend from being supposedly “safely nested” in those limited conceptions.  That is why most never soar, and it is as simple as that.

Hatched and Hatching. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Hatched and Hatching. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Unhatched. Photo by Thomas Peace c.2015

Unhatched. Photo by Thomas Peace c.2015

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Animal – Parrot Intelligence…

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Before I retired, I used to (as a hobby) keep and breed macaws.  Now that I’m older and retired, I have 3 pet parrots… two that are macaws, and one that’s a Yellow Naped Amazon. 

Parrots make great pets but, because of their intelligence, you have to give them a lot of time and stimulation.  In many ways, they are a lot like dogs… except they can talk.  I exercise all of my birds daily… taking them out of their large cages and moving up and down with them many times (as I simultaneously exercise).  They have their own high definition TV in their room, where they like to watch things like The Muppets, Sesame Street, and Rock’n Learn (learning/phonics) videos.  

Their intelligence is phenomenal!  Makes me glad I’m a vegetarian… though I realize that certain birds, like chickens, don’t even come close to the intelligence of parrots.  There are many other intelligent animals, including pigs and dogs.  Tweety Pie, the bird pictured here, talks in complete sentences.  She creates and makes up her own sentences and has great comprehension.  Some birds just mimic; others have comprehension.  For example, when we put on our coats or jackets to go outside, Tweety would ask: “Are you going to go bye-bye now?”  … or “Can I go too?”  We never taught her those questions; she came up with them herself; she says them with the right intonation for a question.  She sings complete songs, like the “Oh what a beautiful morning” song  and other songs including one by the Backstreet Boys.  (I don’t even know the lyrics to that Backstreet Boys song, thank goodness.)  Once, when I was in the living room and couldn’t get the Playstation to work, she said, “What seems to be the problem?”  I said, “I can’t seem to get the TV to work right.”  She then said, “Can I help?”  Something else!  Last night I kept the birds up a bit late because I was cleaning aquariums in their room.  On two separate occasions I told the birds that they could “sleep in late”… (by me not turning on lights or opening window shades until later in the morning); after each of the two times that I told them that they could “sleep in late in the morning,” Tweety Pie” said “Thank You”!  The night before, I asked the birds about which video they’d like to watch; I said, “What do you want to watch… Children Singing, Sesame Street, or The Muppets?”  Tweety said, “Muppets.”  So The Muppets were put on.

I tried to do videos of Tweety, but she won’t talk in front of a camera (at all).  Once, when I worked (before retiring), I recorded her conversations on an audio recorder, took it to work for people to listen to, and people were totally amazed.  (I included a couple of YouTube videos here — of other people’s parrot friends — for people to see, so that they can observe just how intelligent these birds can be; the ones in the videos are not against being video recorded.)  Many of these birds don’t just mimic.  Some, especially, have great comprehension.  One of our macaws, Scarlet, talks and has great comprehension.  When I was younger, I took her to work with me (to my classroom for the multiply handicapped); she would sit on my lap in the car, as I was driving, and was perfect in behavior in the car and in the classroom.  Sometimes Scarlet calls for me by name, saying “Tom, come here,” and Marla, my wife, says that it sounds like I have another wife!  Just last night, I had been playing a learning-video for them about colors, shapes, and counting, and as they (on the video) demonstrated counting to ten; Scarlet then, after they got up to ten, said “eleven.”  

(See the videos below.  The one of the African Grey Parrot, named Einstein, is one of many; to see other of her – she’s a female – videos, do a YouTube search on “Einstein Texan Talking Parrot”; there are other videos of another bird, that’s a show bird, named Einstein… but I like Einstein from Texas best.)

Tweety Pie. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015

Tweety Pie. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015